Kolb resigns HRVHS post

An interim leadership plan will go into effect at Hood River Valley High School, following principal Ben Kolb’s resignation, which he announced Monday.

Kolb, starting his fourth year at HRVHS, took a job as assistant principal at the 1,440-student Redwood High School in Marin County, Calif. The school is part of the Tamalpais Union School District.

Kolb’s decision was motivated by two factors.

“It’s a good career move for me to go back to California, we have family in California and my parents are aging. We just want to be closer to family,” he said.

“And California is in a little better financial situation than Oregon. It wasn’t the case when I came up here,” said Kolb, who previously worked in the San Andreas, Calif., school district. He was an assistant principal in the Roseburg School District before coming to Hood River.

For now, HRVHS will be guided by assistant principals Martha Capovilla and Steve Fisk. The exact command structure will be atop the school board’s list of business when it meets tonight (Sept. 25) at 7:30 p.m. at the district office.

“We’ve looked at several options, and I’ll recommend we go with an interim (structure),” said superintendent Jerry Sessions. He will meet with HRVHS staff this morning.

“Hopefully we’ll have something in place by next week,” Sessions said. “It could be one person in charge or co-principals. We’ve got a couple of good people there.”

The timing of Kolb’s resignation came as a surprise, according to board chairwoman Jan Veldhuisen. Kolb informed his staff on Monday, which was his last day with the district.

“We knew Ben was interviewing, but none of us knew (he was leaving) until Saturday,” she said. “It was his decision, was mostly to be closer to family.”

Sessions said the high school will be in good hands during the transition.

“Day to day you’ll see the school running well,” he said. “We have good staff and kids. Where it hurts you is in the long-term direction. That’s one reason we’ll go with the people we know and kind of stay the course.”

Sessions said the district is not likely to seek a permanent successor to Kolb this year.

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